Friday, 26 August 2016

SEX SLAVE Vanessa Duriès




She was young. She was beautiful. And she was a slave. Not just any slave; a willing sex slave.

Vanessa Duriès, also known as Katia Lamara (1972 - December 13, 1993) wrote of her experiences as a slave in the French BDSM novel “Le lien.” Translated into English as “The Ties that Bind.”

 She created quite a stir in France at the time of the release of the novel, due to her youth and beauty, and appeared on national television, in particular in the show of Bernard Pivot. She also appeared in a pictorial and an interview of the May 1993 issue of the French edition of Penthouse magazine.



Vanessa died in a car crash on December 13, 1993 in the South of France at age 21. Because of her early death, she has achieved a cult status for some BDSM communities. In 2007, five chapters of her second novel L'Étudiante, left unfinished due to her death, were published in France.



Here is a review of her book taken from Amazon.

 “After enduring years of corporal punishment by her father, a young and very much beautiful Vanessa realizes that `Not having the nature of an Amazon, not knowing how to oppose violence with cruelty, I learnt to dominate those who used me by making the offering of my submission both mystical and ambiguous' ...... and thus is born a female slave into the somewhat secretive world of S&M in France in the 1990's.



Right from the first chapter, `The Revelation' , the author introduces us to Pierre, her much `loved' master whom she meets at the age of twenty. In the book, without delving into any of the details of their introduction we find a young Vanessa, although apprehensive about her secret feelings, completely accepts and resigns herself to her `slave' state of mind and body when she visits Pierre at his countryside mansion. Although Pierre is her master, the author maintains an absolute dedication to her feelings, emotions, thrills and fears, as she is introduced and educated into the true and dedicated sadomasochistic lifestyle of a slave master relationship.

This is, in effect, the mastery of this wonderful young author and the point at which other S&M books totally fall apart since it's pretty well impossible for either the master or the slave to completely comprehend and, honestly write about, the erotic mindset of the other. With the precision of a whip Vanessa intricately describes her slave education in the hands of not only her master but also, of course, a small and very much secretive group of other masters and slaves, both male and female.

Vanessa unabashedly describes her relationship with an awe that she is living the life of total sexual and physical abandon with her much loved master. In her own words, `Pierre is an organizer beyond compare. Since sharing his life, we schedule usually quite eventful weekends throughout the year. When we return, on Sunday evenings, I often find myself in a state close to exhaustion. Pierre is no less tired than me. The role of the master is exhausting, because, while the slave only submits, the master must decide, organize, prepare and take action, all the while watching over the physical and psychic state of the slave that he has decided to honour through tests and humiliation.'

One very sad note, unfortunately, Vanessa Duriès died in a traffic accident in 1993 about seven months after the publishing of this masterwork, truly a loss from a very much talented writer.

Finally, the book has an introduction by Marie Isabel Pita one of today's hottest writers of contemporary erotica, and an afterword by Maxim Jakubowski where he briefly describes the discovery of the lost French edition of this book and his investigation into the last years of life of the author.

Thanks to Jan Vander Laenen for telling me about  Vanessa Duries.

The Ties That Bind is available at Amazon UK  but is currently unavailable at Amazon US It is available, second hand, in the US here






Friday, 19 August 2016

VAMPIRES, WITCHES & FAIRY TALES...





Anne Rice is perhaps best known for her vampire tales; tales which have a certain erotic frisson. She amazes me with her creative energy, creating not one, but two lengthy sagas. The vampire tales reach back into the dawn of time, building on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and creating a new mythology around the very beginnings of vampire evolution.

Someone correct me please if I am wrong, but I think that Anne Rice was the first to make vampires sexy, with their dark brooding erotic intentions.

Then there is the saga of the Mayfairs. A wealthy and powerful family of witches, breeding and mutating over the generations. Incestuous, charismatic -- a blip in their DNA produces a strain of monsters, the Taltos.

Anne Rice brings the two sagas together in her final novel; “Blood Canticle.”

What is not so well known, is that Anne Rice also has written erotica under the name of A.N. Roquelaure. Her “Sleeping Beauty” trilogy is loosely based on the fairy tale of the Sleeping Beauty. It is an allegory of sexual adolescence, sexual desire and finally, sexual maturity. The three books are: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty”, “Beauty’s Punishment” and “Beauty’s Release”.

They are erotic BDSM novels dealing with a wide spectrum of fetish and fantasy. They describe the sexual adventures of the female protagonist Beauty in a medieval fantasy world. Anne Rice doesn’t stop at Male/Dom and Fem/Dom, she covers fetish as diverse as anal fisting and pony play. There is rape as a fantasy; she also touches on bestiality. They were first published in America in the 1980’s.

In the familiar fairy tale, the beautiful sleeping princess is awakened by a kiss from a handsome prince. In Anne Rice’s version, the prince wakes the princess with a violent rape.

Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes a compelling experience.

About the same time that Anne Rice published the Beauty trilogy in America, the writer and Academic, Angela Carter published her collection of tales in “The Bloody Chamber.”

Angela Carter says of her collection:
“My intention was not to do 'versions' or, as the American edition of the book said, horribly, 'adult' fairy tales, but to extract the latent content from the traditional stories.”


Both writers are talking about the hidden side of our psychology. The side, that in the cold light of day we dare not own.

The tales from both writers give us permission to fantasise and even act upon our darkest dreams. The stories liberate us and set us free from guilt, fear and shame.

Freud talked about the Id. Here is what he says:


"It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the Dreamwork and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations.... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle."


“The id is the unorganised part of the personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives. Id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. The id contains the libido, which is the primary source of instinctual force that is unresponsive to the demands of reality. The id acts according to the "pleasure principle", seeking to avoid pain or unpleasure (not 'displeasure') aroused by increases in instinctual tension”

WIKI

“The mind of a newborn child is regarded as completely "id-ridden", in the sense that it is a mass of instinctive drives and impulses, and needs immediate satisfaction, a view which equates a newborn child with an id-ridden individual.”

Jungian psychoanalysis talks about “the Shadow”.

"Everyone carries a shadow," Jung wrote, "and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. It may be (in part) one's link to more primitive animal instincts which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.”


Jung also believed that "in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.";so that for some, it may be, 'the dark side of his being, his sinister shadow...represents the true spirit of life as against the arid scholar.

This blog post was put together using sources from the web.

Friday, 12 August 2016

More about Rachel's Magical Pussy – Entry Here, There and Everywhere by A. Aimee





When it was finished, he knew it was done. And she knew it too. Knew she had set her mark on his soul, as surely as if it was pre-ordained.  As surely as if it was written in the stars.  And surely it was. Such was the intensity of their meeting, their coming together.

Powerful as it was, Rachel did not tremble nor flinch but met Albert fully and freely – not aghast or ashamed or shy at opening completely before his eyes, mouth, fingers, touch, taste, or entry.

"You want entry here?" she thought as he came at her, touching, tasting and she replied to his onslaught with all her heart and soul, "You want entry here? You do? Yes?... well, please come in. You want entry here? Well yes, please come in. You want..." And so she met him, opening wide mouth, heart, thighs. Opening wide pussy, heart, soul. Opening. And opening again. Wide, wider, wide.

"How can this be?" he thought as she met him, unafraid, opening, wide, wider, wide.

Soft skin, smell, touch, labia, clit, pulsing, pleasing, pleasuring.

The audacity of her.

Then lips, hair, teeth, eyes, nipples, breasts, heart, mind, body, soul... aaahhh...aaaaahhhhh...
                                                                                             
Flying higher, falling deeper.

Gone was he in the maze of delight she spun around him, dissolving into a million, billion particles of Light. No longer knowing where he ended and she began. Nor did he care. He was beyond that now. Beyond watching from a distance, beyond keeping some part of himself uninvolved...beyond... but he no longer cared, no longer cared for his own safety or sovereignty. So powerful was the pull of her, so seductive the web she wove, so soft.

"Rachel," he whispered, coming back to the surface, hoping, praying the world would still be there. Hoping, praying. And lo' and behold, it was. The world was still there and so was she. Sumptuous hair and all. Green eyes, peaceful and present after following him and then leading him carefully, daringly, step by step, over the edge into that great mysterious abyss of ecstasy and delight.

Yes, she knew what to do. She knew the way. She knew the how. Yes, she did. Which is why, in the infinity of things, purity and love are the strongest.

And so her spirit whispered softly in his ear, "You want... entry, here, there and everywhere?." She held the key.

And she knew the password too, "Yes, please come in... yes, please come in."





A glimpse of Rachel and Albert from the “Good Pussy Bad Pussy” books. There are 2 books: “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale” and “Good Pussy Bad Pussy in Captivity”.



Friday, 5 August 2016

SEX & DEATH...EROS & THANATOS





It seems a strange notion; a link between sex and death. I think most people would agree, that life's greatest drives are to reproduce and to avoid death. The Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and the French social theorist Michel Foucault argued that the two are fused, that the death instinct pervades sexual activity. I’m not sure whom came up with the idea; Eros and Thanatos, Freud or Foucault, but that is the term generally used to demonstrate the concept. Sex and death are inextricably linked.

Our lives seem to be governed by polar opposites. I think it is helpful to think of Thanatos (death) in these terms suggested by my friend Stephen.

“But Thanatos (death) is often overlooked. I think of it as the desire for zero excitation - total non desire (which of course is death)."

And, of course, the French have given us the concept of “La petite mort”; “the little death.” A wonderful metaphor for the orgasm.”


In the Encyclopaedia of Death and Dying, the writer suggests that;

“…with the AIDS epidemic their (Freud and Foucault’s) view has become particularly poignant. A 1992 study from Amsterdam, for instance, found that about one in six U.S. soldiers surveyed said that sex without condoms was worth the risk of getting the AIDS virus. A year later a story released by Planned Parenthood counsellor offices in San Antonio, Texas, explained how teenage girls were demonstrating their toughness by having unprotected sex with an HIV-infected gang member. It seems that, for some, sexual desire is intensified in the presence of taboos and boundaries, even deadly ones."



On television, I heard Stephen Fry tell the tale of a young, gay man, being “gifted”. He had anal sex with as many HIV positive men in one night as he could; hoping to get the virus.

Are human beings inexorably drawn to what can damage, or even kill them? Is there really a pleasure in dicing with death?


The Encyclopaedia of Death and Dying again;

“Attempts to enhance one's sexual experiences can be deadly as well. In 1998 the Food and Drug Administration reported the deaths of several men taking the highly popular Viagra impotence pill. Each year, attempts at sexual self-gratification accidentally kill between 500 and 1,000 individuals, predominantly men, because of autoerotic asphyxia. To heighten their sexual orgasm during masturbation, these individuals cut off the supply of oxygen and blood to their head, often by tying a belt or rope around their neck. Consciousness may be lost, and the individual dies by strangulation.”

It seems that the sex drive and the death drive are powerful forces. But hang on a minute, we don’t all take dangerous risks, do we? Surely, most of us live quite sedentary lives. Sometimes life has a way of tripping us up. Someone lets us down, badly. Love may be unrequited. Our own bodies might betray us


From the web:

“To be betrayed feels like surrendering to a painful process of death, like being forced to experience the pain of abandonment and loss. Each death, however, seems to be a “sacred” process of transferring to new forms of existence. As Carl Jung reminds, the development of personality almost always passes from a deathly sacrifice, and if we manage to process the experience of betrayal and mourning, the result may be transformation.

Betrayal might seem abhorring to our conscience. Nevertheless, without maturation deriving from the experience of betrayal, we remain trapped in the unconscious, repeated questing of a merger with another person. We remain out of the mystery of life forever. If we never change direction, we refuse to undertake the responsibility of existence as unique and separate entity, because the repetition of the miraculous discovery of the ego, according to Jung, is possible only if rupture takes place in its temporal consistency and in its beliefs.”


In other words, we have to allow ourselves to experience rupture in order to mature and grow. If we don’t, we remain as children for ever.

The Eros/Thanatos equation has not been unnoticed by Artists.





Aubrey Beardsley’s ink drawing of Salome, conveys the pivotal moment of the Biblical tale in all its gruesome detail. In a rapture that is indecent in its intensity, Salome gazes at John’s severed head with glutinous glee. Beardsley’s line is perfection. Over a blank white paper he gives us a story that is grotesque, weird, macabre, sinister, in a perverse and playfully theatrical style. Salome clutches at John’s decapitated head, as if she is about to devour it. Beardsley has conveyed the tale in all its erotic glory. Salome is sex personified: John’s death is down to her lust. The viewer is repulsed, feeling that Salome is about to burst with terrible laughter.


Here is the story of Salome from the Bible. Mark 6:21-29:

“And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And
the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.”






The Belgian artist, Antoine Joseph Wiertz painted a confrontation of Beauty and Death, Deux jeunes filles—La Belle Rosine in 1847. You can see it at the Musée Wiertz, Brussels.

It’s a hauntingly beautiful painting. A lovely, almost naked, nubile young woman stands before a skeleton. The young woman is not daunted by this presentation. Is it a confrontation, or is there a narrative of which the viewer is unaware? I don’t know any stories in mythology that this could have been drawn from; Wiertz is weaving a tale, but I don’t know how to read it. I have the feeling that there is more to this painting than meets the eye. Wiertz’ pictorial language is enigmatic, perhaps hinting at the Surrealist movement that was not to show its face until the following century.

Dissatisfied with the shiny effect of oil painting, Wiertz developed a new technique combining the smoothness of oil painting with the speed of execution and the dullness of painting in fresco. He has used this to effect, in this painting. It gives the work a sombre feel, even ominous. Something is about to happen to disturb the woman’s quiet contemplation. Her head is very slightly tilted, as if acknowledging the skeleton. She could be looking into a mirror, maybe admiring what she will one day become. You would expect her to recoil, yet there is no horror in the young woman’s face, there is even a hint of a small smile.






The Pre-Raphaelite painter, John Everett Millais, gives us the doomed maiden, “Ophelia.” Millais painted the picture in 1852; you can see it in the Tate Gallery, London.

Franny Moyle talks about the painting. “The model is dressed up in Shakespearean reference, it is nevertheless the depiction of a woman committing suicide and an exploration of female sexuality. Ophelia is ecstatic at the moment her life expires. The sexual charge in the picture is heightened by the abundant, competing natural world of the river bank that, portrayed with almost photographic faithfulness, surrounds this woman not only resigned to but aroused by her fate. The depiction of an offering to a greater natural order.




Franny Moyle commentating again. "The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, draws from Tennyson’s poem, a mythical lady, cursed never to look out of her window, chooses to sacrifice her life for a glimpse of Lancelot and then float to Camelot in a barge to face her doom.
In an allegory of sexual longing and capitulation, Waterhouse freezes Tennyson’s story at the moment the lady is about to release the chain that ties her barge. And so he anticipates the abandonment of the rational self to subconscious sexual impulses."

I think that “The Lady of Shalott,” is also at the Tate Gallery, London.



The encyclopaedia of Death and Dying.


“In a 1992 book, Camille Paglia claimed that it was in the West that sex, violence, and aggression are major motivations for artistic creativity and human relationships. There is little doubt that these are qualities of audience appeal. Hollywood has long known of the attractions to the erotic and the violent, which is why 60 percent of R-rated movies and nearly half of X-rated movies contain violence. The long-term success of the James Bond movie series derives from its fusion of sex and death.

"According to Geoffrey Gorer, such seductions derive from cultural pruderies to matters of sex and death. William May observed that as sex becomes pornographic when divorced from its natural human emotions of love and affection, so death becomes pornographic when divorced from its natural emotion, which is grief. Perhaps the pornographic connotation is why designer Christian Dior chose in the 1990s to label one of his perfumes "Poison."”

Thanks to Jan Vander Laenen, Fulani and Dr. Stephen Farrier, for helping me put this essay together. And, of course, sources from the Web.

Friday, 29 July 2016

GONE by C.Allen







It's a whirlwind of a debut. A debut that takes my breath away. I'm talking about C.Allen's book "Gone." There's no prevaricating, no hesitation, this new writer is bold and handles his characters and narrative with an easy, engaging confidence.

His "protagonist is Serena; Serena is beautiful and bored with the mundanity of her life. An advertisement in a newspaper offering an enticing freedom away from the restraints and restrictions of life grabs her attention.

Of course, Serena answers the ad, arrangements are made, rules are dictated, which she manipulates to suit herself...she's feisty, assertive, she has to deal with the repercussions of her disobedience, but the rewards are great.

And as I am reading "Gone" I find myself wanting to know more about this intriguing new writer. This often happens with readers when a book is exceptional...I was also thinking about writing this review. C.Allen is writing quality erotica and writes from a female point of view. It's evocative, sensual stuff, stuff that as a woman I can relate to. Taste, scent, touch...the allure of erotic arousal. I was surprised to learn that C.Allen is a guy.

Perhaps this shouldn't matter, but my experience of reading an enormous amount of erotica, over the years, is that male writers rarely get it right when writing from a woman's point of view. The same can probably be said of women writing from a male's point of view. With the exception of Emily Bronte, writing about Heathcliffe, most of us cannot conceive of what goes on in our opposite gender's head.

C.Allen gets it exactly right. "Gone" is an erotic enterprise and will appeal both to the newcomer to erotica and to those readers, who are somewhat jaded with the same old stories.

And there is more to come. Serena's erotic adventures have only just begun.


And there is a real treat in store for you! C.Allen’s book is on free promotion this Saturday and Sunday…grab a copy while it’s going free!

“Gone” is at Amazon UK And Amazon US

Friday, 22 July 2016

MY WAY SIX! SEX FOR THE BEACH! DAVID PERLMUTTER





David Perlmutter comes to my blog this week to tell you about his latest publication in his “My Way” series. “Sex For The Beach” it’s a collection of very explicit erotic tales by writers who really do know how to tantalise…eleven alluring, arousing stories.

Over to David!


After the recent publication of MY WAY FOUR – May the Fourth be With You and MY
WAY 5 – About Life, I would like to welcome you to the next instalment of my MY
WAY series and this one is HOT, I mean really HOT.


I am delighted to be able to TEASE and PLEASE you with some of the best indie
Authors I know who write erotic literature.


I have eleven story tellers who made this book rather HARD in the editing and
planning stages. My editor/co-author and I have had the PLEASURE of casting our
eyes over each and every one of the eleven STEAMY chapters. Yes, eleven of the
most TANTALISING written words that we have ever read or CUM across. The process
of editing hasn’t been an easy one as we do edit together, and for one reason or
another, as you will read, we were rather SEDUCED by the writing and many times
ended up quite distracted and putting our laptops down.


I must warn you before you read this HOT BED of erotica, that no one under the
age of 18 must further proceed, as the contents may offend.


So let’s begin this erotica ORGY and let’s get DOWN and DIRTY with the authors
featured within, all ready and waiting to SEDUCE you.


Now let's meet the featured authors!

MAGGIE ADAMS
BILLIEROSIE
PHEBE BODELLE
TONYA KINZER
PIPPA MAY
LILAH E NOIR
CHARITY PARKERSON
ROXANNE RHOADS
SERENA SYNN
EMMA STYLES
LAURIE VINCENT






I started the MY WAY brand as self-help books for indie authors, so MY WAY WON, MY WAY TOO and MY WAY FREE- TRENDING ON TWITTER, (FREE to download on my website, www.davidpperlmutter.com) are all about book marketing! I wanted to keep the MY WAY brand going but in a different direction, so one weekend on a break to Bournmouth, my girlfriend, Julie who is also my editor and co-author of the brand and I had a brainwave on the journey and came up with the idea for continuing the brand but to include and promote authors in different genres! And that is how it all came together.
So MY WAY FOUR - May the 4th Be With You features authors of Science Fiction, MY WAY 5 About Life is about all about mental health and features 21 authors/bloggers of their experiences and MY WAY SIX - Sex For The Beach features authors of erotica
The MY WAY brand will continue with:
MY WAY SEVEN HEAVEN - Fiction and Non - Fiction books about religion
MY WAY ATE - Food For Thought - About food disorders
MY WAY CRIME - 999 - Will feature authors of Crime Fiction
MY WAY TEN Will be about me again!

MY WAY SIX IS AT AMAZON UK  & at AMAZON US The rest of the MY WAY series is also for sale at Amazon also.



Friday, 15 July 2016

WONDERFUL INGRES!




Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 29th August 1780 – 14th January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself to be a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres’ portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.

From Wiki

“A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugène Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were "the great masters which flourished in that century of glorious memory when Raphael set the eternal and incontestable bounds of the sublime in art ... “I am thus a conservator of good doctrine, and not an innovator.” Nevertheless, modern opinion has tended to regard Ingres and the other Neo-classicists of his era as embodying the Romantic spirit of his time, while his expressive distortions of form and space make him an important precursor of modern art.”

But I want to talk about the eroticism in Ingres’ painting. The way he painted women, reflecting the parts of the female body that were considered to be erotic according to contemporary style. Just as today’s female fashion seems to be a penchant for a generous mouth and full, bee-stung lips, the desired style in Ingres’ day, was for an ivory, translucent skin, rounded, gracefully formed limbs, an elegant neck, décolletage and a long back.

Although rare and little known during his time, his works are very famous today and include The Bather of Valpinçon, La Grande Odalisque and The Turkish Baths. They rank among the most daring and enigmatic paintings of the 19th century.


Whether naked or clothed, you can see from the way Ingres’ painted women, that his eyes lingered; he delighted in the female form.

I think that eroticism is enhanced by clothes, and while Ingres’ painted many, many nudes, the painting I want to look at first, is of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière.



Jonathan Jones writes in , the Guardian newspaper, 2nd August 2003;

“Mademoiselle Rivière was 15 when Ingres painted her. The portrait was shown at the Salon of 1806 along with his pictures of her parents and Napoleon. By the end of the year she was dead.

The sexuality Ingres usually reserved for harem fantasies slips, over into the real and respectable world in this charged portrait. His obviously intense visual relationship with his subject and his contentment to look, with a clinical waxy fetishism, at Mademoiselle Rivière's full lips, bared neck, long gloves and spectacularly serpentine boa, lend this picture drama.

The beauty of the painting is its sublimated stillness. Fragile like porcelain, with smoothed hair, Mademoiselle Rivière is incongruous against a rural backdrop. She is a clothed odalisque, an unreal being in the French countryside. She makes you think of Ingres’ paintings of Greek myths, in which you sense that a supernatural power is about to smash through the surface of his vision. Ingres’ paintings suggest overwhelming forces, inside and outside the artist. He is far greater and more ambitious than we recognise if we dwell solely on the "accuracy" of his portraits.

This image of femininity seizes a quality of youthful candour just on the brink of a womanhood that Mademoiselle Rivière, who died that very year, was never to know. The sunlit openness of the spring landscape, the simplicity and slight stiffness of the stance, the natural ruddiness of cheeks and lips, the dazzling whiteness of the dress and swan's-down boa (which offended those 1806 Salon critics accustomed to a darker, more shadowed palette)--such elements create a purity and innocence foreign to the atmosphere of cultivated artifice and sensuality in Ingres’ portraits of mature women. Appropriate to the age of the sitter, Mademoiselle Rivière’s sensuality is nascent rather than overripe. Indeed, the chiselled clarity of the head, centred beneath the arcing upper frame, smacks of something strangely archaic. The staring, almond-shaped eyes; the fixed smile; the stylised geometries of hairline, eyebrows, ear locks- all recall an early moment in an artistic cycle, whether Egyptian, archaic Greek, or Italian quattrocento.”

From the Louvre website

“Ingres set the erotic tone of 19th and 20th-century French art. In Rome in the late 1800s,he painted a nude for the king of Naples; in 1814 he did his Grande Odalisque, now in the Louvre. The liberation of the eye is the great revolution of painting in 19th-century France and, in Ingres’ inspection of nudes, you see, for the first time, the overt voyeurism that was to be taken to an extreme by Degas.




La Grande Odalisque painted in 1814, Ingres transposes the theme of the mythological nude, whose long tradition goes back to the Renaissance, to an imaginary Orient. This work, his most famous nude, was commissioned by Caroline Murat, Napoleon's sister and the queen of Naples. Here, Ingres paints a nude with long, sinuous lines bearing little resemblance to anatomical reality, but renders the details and texture of the fabrics with sharp precision. This work drew fierce criticism when it was displayed at the Salon of 1819.”

She looks over her shoulder at the viewer inviting observation. She is owned and paid for, she doesn’t challenge the viewer; she will move, when and where, she is told. You can trail your fingers down the length of that long, long spine. You can caress her. Test the weight of that firm breast in the palm of your hand. She will offer no resistance. Her owner has granted his permission. And the feather fan; is she going to masturbate with the handle?

From the Louvre website

“The woman lying on a divan is offering herself because she is nude and turns her face towards us. The painting's title, which means "harem woman," and the accessories around her conjure up the sensuous Orient. But the woman is also discreet because she shows only her back and part of one breast. The nude was a major theme in Western art, but since the Renaissance figures portrayed in that way had been drawn from mythology; here Ingres transposes the theme to a distant land.”

From The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.


“La Grande Odalisque, a painting by Jean-Auguste Ingres (1780-1867), was throughout the 19th century notorious for its anatomical inaccuracy; in particular, the woman was said to have three lumbar vertebrae too many. This view was accepted by all art critics, but never tested and proven. We measured the length of the back and of the pelvis in human models, expressed the mean values in terms of head height, and transferred them to the painting. The deformation was found to be greater than originally assumed (five, rather than three, extra lumbar vertebrae), and to involve both the back and the pelvis. Ingres' paintings skilfully combine realism and symbolism. We suggest that the deformation may have been introduced for psychological reasons. By placing the harem woman's head further away from her pelvis the artist may have been marking the gulf between her thoughts (expressed by her aloof, resigned look) and her social role (symbolized by her deliberately lengthened pelvis).”

From the Louvre website.

“The Valpinçon Bather, Ingres’ first great nude, is the model for all his later nudes. She is already typical of Ingres’ style, with its sumptuous textures (for example, the turban), sinuous harmony of line, and depiction of the serene attitude and chaste sensuality of the woman's body-all enlisted in the quest for absolute perfection.




The work featuring a bathing woman is generally known by the name of one of its nineteenth-century owners. It was one of the works Ingres sent to Paris in 1808 when he was studying at the French Academy in Rome. This early work is a masterpiece of harmonious lines and delicate light. The woman's superb nude back left a deep impression on the artist; he returned to it in several later works, most notably the Turkish Bath”.

The woman is turned from the viewer; there is no fear of being found out. It is as if the woman, fresh from her bath, is in a peepshow. We can indulge in our private, debauched fantasies to our hearts’ content.

From Wiki.

“Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) described the model as having a "deep voluptuousness", yet in many ways she is presented as essentially chaste.This contradiction is apparent in many elements of the painting. The turn of her neck and the curves of her back and legs are accentuated by the fall of the metallic green draperies, the swell of the white curtain in front of her and the folds of the bed sheets and linen. However, these elements are countered by the cool tone in which her flesh is rendered, as well as by elements such as the cool and elegant black-veined marble to the left of her. There is a stillness, a concentrated calm which only serves to heighten the implicit eroticism - what if, one wonders, she were actually to turn around?


Ingres returned to this form of this figure a number of times in his life; culminating in his The Turkish Bath of 1863, where the central figure in the foreground playing a mandolin echoes in rhythm and tone the model of the Valpinçon bather.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu travelled extensively. In 1716 she wrote the following in her journal after visiting a Turkish bath. One hundred years later, Ingres copied her description into his sketch book.

: "... il y avait bien la deux cent baigneuses; les premiers sophas furent couverts de cousins et de riches tapis; et toutes etaient nues. Cependant il n’y avait parmielles ni geste indecent, ni posture lascive…”


There were certainly two hundred (female) bathers there; the first sofa’s were covered with cushions and rich tapestries, and they were all nude (naked). However, none of them had indecent gestures or took on lascivious poses.



From that brief passage, Ingres painted his erotic masterpiece. However objective Lady Mary intended her account to be, it had the reverse effect on Ingres, for it inspired him to paint, forty five years later, one of the most erotic paintings that had been seen by the world.

Ingres combined all the elements into his greatest painting, Le Bain Turc, completed in 1863. This was originally a square composition, but only a photograph by Marville exists of the painting in this format. It was commissioned by Napoleon, but returned to the artist on the insistence of the Princess Clothilde, who was shocked by the lascivious postures of the naked figures.




Once the painting was back in the studio Ingres exercised his true mastery and miraculously turned it into a tondo. The circular composition is so convincing that it is hard to believe that it was ever conceived otherwise. An oil sketch exists showing how he rearranged the arms of the figure on the right. The right arm had previously fallen downwards. He raised it behind her head, but at the same time cunningly managed to keep the profile of the hand by transferring it to the arm of the figure below, where it now half conceals the bashful lady's face.

The Turkish Bath is erotica for the connoisseur. What at first seems to be a disorganised extravaganza of female flesh, is actually a carefully arranged series of images, where the eye is led around the steaming bath; our eyes’ journey around the painting is dictated by Ingres. First the magnificent back of the Valpinçon bather; here, she strums a lute. On the right a woman sprawls languidly, displaying herself without reticence. Two girls play with each others’ fat nipples. And it goes on and on. The air is hot and steamy; the scent of female arousal and smoky drugs, make the viewer giddy.

From Wiki.

Ingres relished the irony of producing an erotic work in his old age, painting an inscription of his age (AETATIS LXXXII) on the work. - He did not paint this work from live models, but from several croquis and paintings he had produced over the course of his career, re-using 'bather' and 'odalisque' figures (he had earlier produced La Grande Odalisque) he had previously drawn or painted as single figures on a bed or beside a bath. The figure best known to have been copied is from his The Bather of Valpinçon, reproduced here almost identically and forming the central element of the new composition. The figure with her arms raised above her head in the right foreground, however, is based on an 1818 croquis of the artist's wife Madeleine Chapelle (1782-1849), though her right shoulder is lowered whereas her right arm is raised (an anatomical inconsistency usual in Ingres’ work - La Grande Odalisque has three additional vertebrae). The other bodies are juxtaposed in various unlit areas behind them.


In 1867 Ingres told others that he retained “all the fire of a man of thirty years.”

When he said that, he was eighty two years old. Good for you Monsieur Ingres!

All of the paintings featured here can be seen at the Louvre.

Big thanks to Jan Vander Laenen for the translations from French to English.